Many people who’ve been injured by a defective product, in a car crash or a work accident believe that they have no right to compensation if they had an injury prior to the accident. This is not necessarily true. Your preexisting injury does not automatically prevent you from recovering compensation when the accident is not your fault.
What is true is that insurance companies may try to use your preexisting injury to deny responsibility for compensating you for the pain and suffering due to your new injuries. They may claim that you had pain from these injuries before the accident, even if their insured caused the accident.
While many people do have old injuries from childhood sports, from serving in the military, or because of a previous car or work accident, oftentimes they’ve lived with these injuries without pain and have been symptom-free for years. While you cannot receive compensation for old injuries, you are entitled to compensation if an accident makes them worse. You may be entitled to compensation for your new or increased physical pain and suffering, including mental health issues that result from aggravating an old injury.
If your first injury happened more recently, it may be more difficult to prove that the pain resulting from the second accident is new and not related to the first injury. An experienced attorney will consult with your doctors to sort out old injuries from new ones, regardless of how far apart they happened.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help
To prove that your preexisting injury is not causing the pain you’re suffering from now, your attorney should:
- Review your prior medical records to understand the nature of the first injury.
- Review x-rays or other documentation that the new accident made the condition worse.
- Document that the new injury is or is not in the same place as the old one.
- Establish whether your prior condition affected your life on an everyday basis.
- Limit the amount of medical history that we give to the insurance company, especially records that are completely irrelevant but could be used to harass or intimidate you.
The Law Is On Your Side
The law protects injury victims by affirming that a person’s frailties cannot be used to defend someone else’s negligent or intentional behavior. In theory, someone is liable for the injuries they cause to someone else even if they had no idea that the person was already frail and would react ten times worse than someone without the preexisting condition.
Don’t discuss your case with the insurance company. You may say something that can hurt your case without even realizing it. If we are representing you, we will handle all discussions with the insurance companies so that you are protected.